MP Imir: Deadly armoured vehicles must be removed from civvy streets immediately

According to HDP Şırnak Deputy Nuran İmir, Miraç Miroğlu's death, which was a result of being hit by an armoured vehicle, reflected the state’s Kurdish hostility on the ground.

The death of 7-year-old Miraç Miroğlu, who was riding his bicycle in front of his house in the Turgut Özal neighborhood of Şırnak's İdil district when he was hit by an armoured vehicle, opened his eyes to the security concept that has become systematic in Kurdistan, as well as the associated impunity.

Since 2008, more than 40 people, including 20 children, have been murdered by armoured vehicles in the Kurdish region, yet not a single offender has been punished, and each occurrence has been covered up as an "accident". The police officer who hit Miraç has also been released.

In her assessment of the matter to the ANF, HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) Şırnak Deputy Nuran İmir underlined that these incidents demonstrate the point of the security strategy. Imir stated that the provinces of Kurdistan have truly become military garrison tracks and that every three minutes, panzers and armoured vehicles bring death. She stated that the concept of security spread to all living spaces in Şırnak, particularly during the self-government resistance, and that schools were utilized as police stations at the time, and that all areas of the city are now equipped with police stations, fortifications, and surveillance cameras. Expressing that this is not a situation unique to Şırnak, İmir said, however, that this policy of pressure is applied in Şırnak specifically, adding, “We cannot travel a 100-kilometre road in three hours. There is still no obstetrician at İdil Hospital, there are always war-indexed sanctions with the taxes of the people.”


Reminding that armoured vehicles caused the deaths of many children in Şırnak, İmir said, Diren Basan (10), Sinan Saltalp (17), Bünyamin Bayram (6), the brothers Muhammed and Furkan Yıldırım, who died as a result of being hit by an armoured vehicle in their home in Silopi (6), Hakan Sarak (5), Okan İnce, Bahadır Beyazlıoğlu, Ali Ölmez (15) and an unknown person lost their lives after being hit by an armoured vehicle. Imir stated that armoured vehicles are not like regular vehicles and that they require additional training to use, but that law enforcement officers can utilize armoured vehicles without even passing these exams. She continued, "No attention is paid to them, people's lives are ignored, on the contrary, it is seen as legitimate. There is a policy of operating with a colonial logic. If this were not the case, policemen would not be patrolling every street corner with armoured vehicles every minute. You will spread all of the military strength here, at least three security guards will fall to every two people, you will be stationed all over the city, and you will perpetrate murders up to the level of slaughter with armoured vehicles. There is no other explanation."


Emphasizing that the issue of hitting children with armoured vehicles is equivalent to the destruction done to the cemeteries and nature, İmir said that the approach of a government that does not tolerate Kurdish political identity, Kurdish political choices and that takes politicians hostage, is no different from their approach to children. Noting that the fact that the police officer who hit Miraç was released by the prosecutor's office is a clear sign of this, Imir emphasized that while this scenario should evoke outrage, it is unacceptable to keep silent.

“If something like this happened in any metropolis of Turkey, it would be sensational. This is an infuriating situation. But when it comes to the city of the Kurds and the children of the Kurds, why are they silent?” Imir asked, and continued: “Where is the respect for the right to life then? Where is respect for the dead? This has to be looked into. Yes, the government bears most of the blame. From the judiciary to law enforcement, there is an attitude in Kurdistan that allows hostility and hatred towards all living things. This approach is unacceptable to us. The first duty of the state and government is to protect the right to life, to create the basis for this. It is the lack of social sensitivity that creates the basis for the state and government to do the opposite. We see the reaction does not go beyond a few tweets. Our children are shot and killed. They are crushed under armoured vehicles every day, even while they are sleeping at home, they are killed by panzers. How can we ignore these? We are talking about 83 million people, among them some respect the right to live, some pay serious prices at this cause. So why are they so unresponsive to what's happening in Kurdistan? This is not something to be criticized or glossed over with just a tweet, it's a situation that should cause outrage. A child's life is the point in question.”


Imir remarked that there is a multifaceted attack on the Kurds and that a law of hatred is being enforced against their nature, people, culture, language, and political administration. Noting that the continued policy of impunity set the way for and even encouraged these attacks, Imir recalled that cases of harassment and abuse at the hands of expert sergeants were experienced in many cities, but that the culprits were rewarded with impunity. The deputy stated that instead of punishment, they attempted to cover up the occurrence and continued, "The governor of Şırnak says to the family of Miraç, who lost his life as a result of being hit by an armoured vehicle, 'The armoured vehicle was travelling slowly’. Then, how could the kid jump 11 meters before collapsing to the ground? How can his bike be divided into 4-5 parts? Making it appear to be an accident is equally as terrifying as murder. If they had done their judicial duties against those who hit our children in such an arbitrary, monstrous manner in the streets, Eyüp would not have died in Bitlis, and Miraç would not have died in Şırnak.”


Imir stated that her party has submitted numerous motions to the parliament regarding the horrors caused by the deadly armoured vehicles, yet none of them was answered at all. She recalled that in 2018 she submitted a motion on the injuries caused by armoured vehicles, which was similarly left unanswered by the relevant authorities. Imir stated that schools are opening in Şırnak at present, but there is no single right way to walk while all means have been deployed for war. Imir added that, on the contrary, every measure is regarded as legal because of the imposed war mentality, noting that if security measures are to be discussed, there should be steps taken to preserve the existence of the people as a whole.

The MP emphasized that these acts are a manifestation of Kurdish enmity on the ground, saying: "The remark that Erdogan uttered during his prime ministership, 'Whatever is necessary will be done, whether it is a woman or a child,' is a clear expression of the practice that has come so far. We never accept this. The Kurds no longer have a price to pay. The Kurds have neither a child nor a person to sacrifice for the war. They will achieve nothing by enforcing enemy law and inciting enmity. We've heard that many offers have been made to the Miroğlu family. We are not going to let this be forgotten. And we caution them not to mock our minds. The officer who hit Miraç must be fired and arrested immediately. The policy of impunity must be ended. Our cities are not military runways, and no one can come here with the logic of a garrison. We do not accept or want to see any practice that approaches the law of hatred beyond duty. Those deadly armoured vehicles must be removed from civvy streets as soon as possible.”